-Ottawa faces the New York Rangers (12-8-2) tonight; the Rangers are lead by Rick Nash (20 points) and tonight are backstopped by Martin Biron (1-1-1 2.50 .911).
–Scott had the scoring chances in the Toronto game 17/13.
–Bruce Garrioch weighs in with his mid-season report card which uses pretty broad categories that doesn’t really delve into the ins and outs of the season thus far. He throws in speculation that the Sens might target Matt Cullen as a deadline acquisition, but that thought doesn’t seem to have any grounding in comments from the organisation. Wayne Scanlan offers essentially the same analysis, but remains just as general in his assessment as Garrioch.
–Bob McKenzie reports the Sens are looking for “a physical player, preferably one who can drop the gloves with some authority.” I don’t doubt Bob, but I do wonder how serious Ottawa is in finding such a player. Do they want a Steve McIntyre-like goon? I assume not because such players are a dime-a-dozen. The term “physical player” suggests someone who can play a regular shift, but isn’t that supposed to be Chris Neil? True power forwards who fight are never on the market (ala Milan Lucic), so if that’s what the team wants they will continue wanting.
-As expected the NHLPA has approved the NHL’s realignment plan and this is the new look for the league (beginning next season):
Central Division: Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Toronto
Atlantic Division: Carolina, Columbus, New Jersey, N.Y. Islanders, N.Y. Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington
Pacific Division: Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose and Vancouver
Mid-West Division: Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg
I highlighted teams that have switched conferences. As expected Detroit moved east, while Winnipeg moved west (Columbus also moved east, which makes sense, but I had no strong feelings about). I expect the Red Wings to do very well in the new Central, while the inclusion of the two Florida teams seems aimed at the snowbirds who can attend the games.
-Binghamton faces Connecticut (27-23-8); the Whale are lead by Kris Newbury (52 points) and backstopped by Cameron Talbot (21-22-1 2.64 .917). The B-Sens signed Trenton Titan Stephen Schultz (47-26-25-51) to a PTO, although I’m not sure what player situation required the need for yet another forward on the roster.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)
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